A wide range of New Jersey water-treatment equipment is available, and some can solve several problems at once; each device can be used with others to cure almost any combination of conditions. Not surprisingly, one of the best-selling water treatment devices is a water softener: this is simply a tank containing an “ion-exchange resin.” As the water passes through the softener, calcium and magnesium in dissolved compounds are exchanged for sodium in the resin and remain with the resin in the tank.
When the sodium in the resin is depleted, the tank must be recharged by back-flushing it with a salt solution–sodium from the salt is then exchanged for the calcium and magnesium, which empty into the drain. The simplest setup is a single tank owned by a private water-treatment company that periodically replaces it with a freshly charged tank.
But some homeowners opt for permanent installation. It includes, in addition to the softener tank, a tank filled with salt crystals, a pump and a sensing device or timer that automatically back-flushes and recharges the softener when the sodium in its resin is depleted.
A water softener will also remove some iron materials and suspend particles from the water by trapping them in its resin bed. Its only drawback is the high sodium content of the water it softens: persons on a low-salt diet because of heart or kidney trouble should not drink water processed by such a device, and some authorities have questioned the consumption of large amounts of sodium by anyone.
For this reason, many people connect a softener only to the hot-water line–where minerals precipitate at a greater rate–leaving untreated water used for drinking and cooking.
The most versatile water treatment device is the chemical feeder that is installed on many private well systems. It is a container with an automatic pump that injects a small, precisely metered amount of chemical solution into the supply line. The feeder can be used to cure a wide variety of problems, depending on the chemical used.
To remove bacteria or large amounts of hydrogen sulfide, for example, the feeder is filled with a chlorine mixture. An alkaline solution is used to neutralize acid, and other chemicals can be injected to eliminate suspended particles.